112 - The European emergency number

112 is a single emergency telephone number that allows European citizens and travelers within EU to contact emergency services for assistance in all Member States.

In order to ensure a quicker and more efficient intervention, 112 operates either alongside the national emergency numbers or as the main emergency number depending on the country.

Since each Member State is responsible for its own national civil protection system, the operator may transfer your call to the appropriate emergency service or deal with your request directly.

The European emergency number is:

ideal for contacting any emergency service in any EU country
available from fixed (including public pay-phones) and mobile phones all over EU
easily remembered and quickly dialed (no country, city or district code needed)
seen as a key instrument for the free movement within the EU

112 emergency europe

Countries where 112 operates

112 operates in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Vatican and the United Kingdom. 112 is also available worldwide on GSM mobile networks.

112 instructions

Call 112 and wait until you are connected to an operator.
Introduce yourself and clearly state the incident.
Although emergency services should be able to identify where you are physically located, always indicate your location and if possible, briefly explain how to reach you.
Answer all the questions asked.
Follow the operator’s advice.
Do not hang up, until the call-taker or dispatcher asks you to.
Try to keep your phone line free after the conversation; you may receive calls for additional information.
Call again only if there are more to report / situation changes.

Call 112 in case:

of fire / smoke / explosives
of a serious car / work accident
someone is attempting to steal / damage a vehicle or property
you or people nearby you are trapped / injured / unconscious / bleeding / suffocating
you witnessed an attempted suicide

Do not use 112:

just for fun / to check if it actually works
to report the same accident / emergency again
to call a taxi or get informed about transportation schedules / flight information
for contact details (address, phone number etc.)
for medical specialists, prescriptions etc.
for minor accidents / incidents

Notes about 112

If the operator does not answer your call immediately do not hang up; every repeated call is considered a new one and thus, is put at the end of the queue.
Stay calm and make sure your answers are precise, brief and clear.
The average waiting time in the Netherlands is eight seconds.
112 calls from mobile phones in the Netherlands are possible even if there is no SIM card.
Operators in the Netherlands can be expected to speak English, German and French
Hoax 112 calls are considered to be a criminal offense in most EU countries.
February 11 is established as the European 112 Day.
All EU citizens and travelers should receive information about 112 by SMS when they travel to another EU country (Roaming Regulation, July 2009).
Only around 45% of the Dutch are aware of 112 as the EU-wide emergency number.

Visit the 112 Foundation for more information and remember: "When in doubt, dial it out - 112. You could save someone’s life!"

Useful links about 112

European Commission 112
112 in the Netherlands

Quick and easy boarding: face recognition trial at Schiphol

Amsterdam Schiphol airport is introducing a trial to test biometric boarding. Passengers can volunteer to register at a specific gate in the airport.

Dutch police try out Tasers in year-long trial

The Dutch police force have announced that they will be introducing electric Tasers, starting off with a trial in three Dutch cities throughout 2017.

Number of burglaries and fires drop in the Netherlands

Insurance companies in the Netherlands reported a 14 percent drop in the number of fires and break-ins last year, according the Dutch Association of Insurers.

One in five reported crimes in NL never investigated

Dutch broadcaster RTL Nieuws has released a report claiming that Dutch police do not follow up on one fifth of the crimes reported to them.

Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ least safe city

Amsterdam's popularity with tourists makes the city a hot-spot for criminal activity. It has again been ranked as the least safe area of the Netherlands.

Dramatic drop in street robberies in the Netherlands

During Safety Week the Dutch Ministry of Security announced a 20 per cent drop in muggings compared with the same period last year.

Netherlands gets world's first nationwide SMS emergency alert system

The new system will allow authorities to warn people within the immediate area of an emergency situation (e.g. a major fire or flooding) by sending a text message to their mobile phones.

20th Anniversary of 112

February 11, 2011 marks the European 112 Day and the 20th anniversary of the decision to create the European emergency number 112. This number is common to all 27 countries of the European Union and is used to contact emergency services free of charge.


Survival kit



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse IamExpat.nl you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Click here to learn more